Through the priesthood bleesing I received the day my uncle died and the trip to the temple I made before the funeral, I found great comfort and calm. I handled this funeral far better than I have any other funerals of late.

(Disclaimer: The some of the following is by no means doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

As I left work on Thursday, one of my coworkers told me to imagine my uncle up there playing the harp. I instantly replied, "Nah. He's playing golf!"

My uncle had been an advid golf player before the Huntington's Disease took over his body. The image of my uncle playing golf on some Heavenly golf course still brings smile to my face.

Then my cousins reminded me he also had played softball. So now the image of him starting a softball league also makes me smile.

The day of his funeral, I had another image. I imagined that as soon as his spirit separated from his body that he started jumping up and down dancing a jig (or maybe the Hokey Pokey?) because he finally had control over his body (albeit a spirit body) once more.

One thing though, the man in the casket looked nothing like my uncle as I last saw him. He was ashen and very thin. His once dark hair with male pattern baldness was almost all gone and what hair left was grey. He also did not have the "horseshoe" mustache he had as long as I can remember. But now he is whole again. I hope he has that mustache when I get to meet him.

I belive the blessing, the temple trip and these happy/fun images really helped me handle this funeral. I shed no tears at the funeral even though I do miss him.

His brother-in-law, a minister or preacher, led the funeral service. It was short and sweet with him asking us to share fun stories about my uncle. That also helped.

I did not shed any tears until the graveside services, but then they were only relatively few. At the point, it became a bit more final, even though I know my uncle is on the other side of the veil and whole once more.

One thing that is always interesting about funerals is all the family member whom you have seen in ages hugging and saying, "It's so nice to see you." One person that ws definitely great to see was a cousin - son by my uncle's first marriage. He and I both agreed that our happiest childhood memories were playing together on Saturday's when we went to visit our grandparents. He had been my best friend and almost like a brother (being much closer in age to me than either of my brothers.) It was good to meet up and now we will be able to keep in touch once more.

Out of the unhappy, sometimes comes the happy. Happy that my uncle is now whole and happy once more. Happy to reconnect with a cousin from whom I was separated so many years ago because his mother didn't want him spending the summer with his father. Happy that we both feel the same way about the times we did have together. Also happy to finally have met his wife.

So the peace continues. I thank my Heavenly Father for sending the Holy Ghost to comfort me and give me peace. I am also so very thankful for the Plan of Salvation.

"All is well. All is well." (Come, Come Ye Saints, The Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-Day Saints hymn Book)
 
 
To The Rescue is the name of President Monson's biography. I've been reading it and I've very touched by the humble service and compassion our prophet gives - even as busy as he is now.

In our women's meeting today, we had a special lesson. The final two were about rescuing spiritually and emotionally.

In one of my earliest entries, I spoke of the shepherd coming out to the wilderness to find me and bring me back home; however I realized today that my "rescue" did not stop there.

For the first two weeks of returning to the church, I had not met the wife of the home teacher who was taking me to church because she had a calling that was taking her to visit other wards at the time.

I finally met her the week after General Conference. It was fast Sunday so there were no special meetings she needed to attend. The week before General Conference, I had the ugliest, longest and worst panic attack I've ever had. I kept trying to fight through it but in the end I was exhausted and felt like an idiot for having such a harsh response to finally trying to attend all 3 meetings. Because of that I was unable to stay in the meeting during the third hour (when the women meet) on this Fast Sunday. I had planned to sit in the lobby and just read my scriptures during the time.

My home teacher's wife - who had not been able to attend the women's meeting for several weeks because of her calling - came out with me. She stayed with me and talked to me. She understood what I was going through. She was also able to remind me that the things I was saying about me because of this situation were Satan's way of trying to keep me from returning to activity. I felt so bad though, that she didn't stay for a meeting she hadn't attended for so long, but she wanted to be with me. She wanted to be there for me.

From that day was born a friendship  or more of a sister-ship stronger and more supportive than I ever remember having. How fortunate I was that 2 weeks later she was release from her calling and given one that meant she could come to church every week.

She was therefore me as I continued to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. She was there for me whenever I needed her. It was with her love and support and help and understanding that helped me keep moving forward as I strove to return to the fold and stay there.

I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father for putting such a wonderful and dear person into my life right when I needed her the most.

This is yet another thing that, only in retrospect and pondering, showed me that my Heavenly Father loved me and wanted me back in the fold.

I've been active for a year plus a few weeks now. In that time I've come so far.

Last year at this special meeting (an annual event), I had a panic attack just as the final speaker, the president of our stake (the head of several congregations whose bishops report to). I didn't feel it was good form to get up and leave at that moment, so I soldiered through - barely. As soon as the closing prayer was finished I fled.

This year, not only did I stay without any panic or even anxiety, I participated in the discussion the stake president was leading. It was, in essence, about going to the rescue.  Not only did I participate. I gave the closing prayer.

I almost do not recognized the person I am now because she is so different from the person who was making her first tentative baby steps back to the fold a year ago.

How wonderful it is for my Heavenly Father to continually remind me that He loves me. He knows me. He knows the desired of my hearts. His love is perfect and it encompasses all.